The Campanile would like to praise Palo Alto High School’s Associated Student Body (ASB) for its tremendous hard work and successful implementation of a fair Spirit Week and a meaningful, enjoyable and profitable Homecoming Dance.

Paly has had a long-standing tradition of making the seniors win Spirit Week, using either “unity points” or other methods to rig the point system. This year however, in an attempt to make Spirit Week a more fair, safe and honest competition, ASB changed some of the rules and guidelines for Spirit Week.

First, the implementation of “unity points” two years ago has been a major controversy as lower grades, whom received fewer “unity points,” felt cheated out of a win. We praise ASB for the removal of “unity points” and making sure that every class has an equal chance to participate and win during Spirit Week.

Second, in an attempt to make Spirit Week more competitive, the difference in the  amount of points awarded for the various games was smaller than ever before. This not only highlights that not one class is better than all the rest, but it keeps the games more interesting and engaging as it is easier to catch up after a loss. In the past, the freshman  class would normally be brutally behind the rest of the classes, but because of this small change, classes who fell behind early did not lose hope in their quest for victory.

Third, various minor rules to promote class unity and a reprieve from social divides were established. One, students could not participate in more than one event or game during the week. This helps raise participation and does not allow the same set of students to participate in all the games. Another proactive rule that was established this year was the four people per table rule. Last year, there were more than ten people at the tables guiding cheers; this not only created confusion in cheers as well as a general mess blocking people’s views, but also created an elite Spirit Week “crew” that stirred resentment from many people in their respective class. By only allowing four people per table, the track was much less crowded, games ran more easily and everyone seemed more equal. The Campanile also appreciates that ASB took action against disrespectful cheers and gestures. While Spirit Week is an intense competition between the classes, this is not an excuse to be disrespectful and employ spiteful cheers. Spirit Week should be good, clean fun.

These changes made Spirit Week a much more competitive yet enjoyable event. Congratulations to the seniors for continuing the tradition of winning without a rigged system.

On top of a successful Spirit Week, the Homecoming Dance had a record number of attendees and many “asks.” This is all thanks to ASB for taking the initiative to make Homecoming a “thing” when it has traditionally not been at Paly. Hats off to ASB.

 

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